Thursday, March 22, 2012


It is spring! The weather is absolutely blissful, and everything is in bloom. The children and I are suffering from butterfly brains and having trouble buckling down to work, but we are giving it an effort (and only sneaking out to play a little!). Katie says there are fairies out, and the cats are entranced by the birds busily building gathering twigs and building nests. Ed is deep in his yearly battle with the ants (who try to take over our house every spring).

This morning I finished the last of the Great Ideas of Philosophy lectures and am ready to move on to my Old Testament course. I really think it looks like fun!

In history this week (and last week and next week) we are studying Africa, and also a little on India (regarding the British Empire). I don't know much about Africa, and the books we have are not entrancing (not bad, just not thrilling), but we've been filling things out with a wonderful National Geographic series on Africa and a Michael Wood series called The Story of India. When we finish up with India, there is another series on Africa, Lost Kingdoms of Africa, which looks good, and then we'll get to see The Hound of the Baskervilles (which Travis is currently reading) and Heidi (Katie's book). We're also reading (well, I'm reading aloud) Kim and Just So Stories.  Good stuff!

For poetry this week the kids were supposed to rewrite The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Katie is still working on hers, but Travis finished. He is no Robert Browning, but I thought his was kind of funny

The rats of Hamelin were not few, 
There were a lot more rats than two,
 And the people were sad through and through,
 Because the rats kept eating their stew. 

 The rats were out of control, 
And they were stronger than egg rolls, 
So the folk looked for someone to rid them of rats, 
And they found a piper with a purple hat.

 For a pile of gold he would rid them of rats,
 And he did it without any cats. 
He played out a song to make them follow him, 
They fell in a river and they couldn't swim. 

 But when the piper wanted to be paid, 
The people's promise was not obeyed.
 The piper became angry and dismayed,
 So he kidnapped their children and took them to his cave.

The rhyme scheme and meter are kind of off, but he tells the story in a lot fewer stanzas than Browning needed, and Browning didn't work in any references to egg rolls!

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